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post #16 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 09:55 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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Can you help me figure out at what point exactly in my original post to have him miss practice (which is a MUCH bigger deal to him than losing device privileges)? When he was screaming in the car? Or earlier in the day when he was loudly balking at expected chores? Or when he criticized my parenting his younger bro?
I would have waited in the car till the screaming stopped, not even leaving the driveway. Not said much, maybe a reminder that you understand he's anxious to arrive on time but that doesn't give him license to be abusive to his ride, but mostly just waited. If he's calm, he gets to go to practice.

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And do I warn him at all first, or do guys just respect the instant consequence more?
The warning should come another time, when he's calm, recently fed, in a good mood. Have a quick discussion (not a lecture) to remind him that being disrespectful and yelling at people who are doing him a favour isn't productive, and will get the favour retracted. So later, when he yells, he's already had the warning and you can jump right to consequences.

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I stopped the car twice and both times felt that I should not continue driving him, but backed out because I knew his coach would be disappointed and my son apologized. I know you're right- he should not be there right now. I need to know exactly at what point though to take it that far.
His coach might become your biggest ally and a good role model (male?). Tell the coach that your son may have absences when his behaviour is disrespectful. You may find the coach reinforcing the consequences and reminding him that sports are a privilege and not a right and if he wants to attend practice, to remember to be grateful for your taxi service.

Is the practice within bike ride distance?

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Thanks for your support, I'm still pretty upset (with myself mostly for allowing it).
It's best to put some time between yourself and the upset before you analyze the situation and figure out what to do. It's hard to think what to do in the moment, but if you decide what should happen next time, it will be easier to enforce it later.

Oh teenagers. The executive function emotions management skills are lagging far far behind the hormone driven emotions. But they still need to be taught. He's also testing boundaries, so you have to be consistent, no matter what.

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post #17 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:06 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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Thank you so much for this post. I will have a chat with him after his practice. I never do this, so thank you very much, I didn't even think bringing it up again would be helpful but what you're saying makes so much sense.

And reasons 1, 4, and 5 apply to our situation. It's very frustrating because my intense kid (who does run anxious) seems to do best with boundaries in all ways, has since he was an infant, except with his dad. He genuinely likes my husband more and is really close to him, and my husband does not enforce boundaries with him at all. I've stood up to my husband about this too, it has been an issue for us. But it's genuinely not in him, and I can't force him to discipline. If my son did his screaming, yelling thing, my husband might say quietly "C'mon, you don't need to do that." And that's it. Every time.

But I think the "safe" part with me is that he wants to save face with my husband. He gets embarassed because sometimes my husband will say something totally non-PC like "you're being a baby." But no consequence.
So your husband is very laid back, so much so your son's mouth doesn't ring any bells. That's great actually. I think young men need their fathers esteem so very badly and it sounds like your husband provides that for your son. Unfortunately, this puts you in the role as disciplinarian and frankly, that's no fair for you.

I recall a time when my brother was mouthing off to my mother and my father, who had been ignoring the entire escalation, got up and said very loudly "that is my wife and you are not allowed to speak to my wife that way, ever!" Honestly, it made no effect on my brother, who had an anger problem but I remember it clear as day.

It doesn't matter if your husband doesn't care if your son mouths off to him. But you do care and it does bother you and for that reason alone your might want to enlist your husband's support in enforcing YOUR boundaries for you. If he's okay being spoken to that way, that's fine but he should not be okay with you being spoken to in a way that makes you feel belittled and disrespected. So tell your husband to stop being a baby and stick up for his wife!

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post #18 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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Jessica
Nope nowhere did I say ignore it. "Decide what's important ".
Listen, as he is telling you what some of the conflict is. "Everything is a big deal". And he did tell you he didn't know what "treat me like a person " means.
Aside from the tone or yelling, take away the message. Out of respect for him. As a separate person.
HOW he communicates needs to be taught and practiced.
Consequences for that, but not the message. If it were me, I would say thank you for sharing your input, I will consider how you feel. (Later, of course) but provide him tips for how to share / communicate and make it clear THAT is what was unacceptable


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Now I understand, thank you. Focus on the delivery, not the message. That's hard for me, so thanks for the challenge. Without the tone, yelling, and mad dogging, I still don't appreciate being told that I'm weird for wanting to be treated like a person, or that I make everything a big deal. It sounds like I need to get over this and develop thicker skin? I'm really glad you brought this to my attention. It seems I played a role in this tonight too.

This is where I second guess myself.
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post #19 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:15 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

No, you aren't weird. It's weird to him because he's developing as a person that is different from himself. Different is weird. To all teenagers.
Same as treated like a person.
Judgmental aliens. Until they are about 30. So naturally, they notice that their parents are the most judgemental people around. Geez. It's brutal


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post #20 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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I would have waited in the car till the screaming stopped, not even leaving the driveway. Not said much, maybe a reminder that you understand he's anxious to arrive on time but that doesn't give him license to be abusive to his ride, but mostly just waited. If he's calm, he gets to go to practice.

Ok, this is what I did, and I do feel it is abusive, so thank you for validating that.

The warning should come another time, when he's calm, recently fed, in a good mood. Have a quick discussion (not a lecture) to remind him that being disrespectful and yelling at people who are doing him a favour isn't productive, and will get the favour retracted. So later, when he yells, he's already had the warning and you can jump right to consequences.

Very helpful, thank you!

His coach might become your biggest ally and a good role model (male?). Tell the coach that your son may have absences when his behaviour is disrespectful. You may find the coach reinforcing the consequences and reminding him that sports are a privilege and not a right and if he wants to attend practice, to remember to be grateful for your taxi service.

This did not occur to me and you're right, in fact, his coach actually called my son out once at a travel tournament and told him "You do not speak to your mom like that!" But my husband helps coach his team too so to get more support from this coach means texting him without letting my husband know first, as he would tell me not to.
Is the practice within bike ride distance?
No, unfortunately.

But they still need to be taught. He's also testing boundaries, so you have to be consistent, no matter what.

You're right, which is why I need to figure out exactly how to do this because it is getting worse. He even criticizes me for drinking too loud (water).
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post #21 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:20 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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He yells "Why do you always say that- treat you like a freaking person!? It's so weird!"
This was my answer to this (and other such ornery, silly questions) ...

"You are required to be respectful, responsible and fun to be around". That is how people treat each other as human-beings."

My kid knew this phrase and what each word meant by the time she was 6 years old and, she knew that I enforced it. I always gave her one warning when she acted out (I would ask "Are you being respectful, responsible and fun to be around?") and if she continued consequences were immediate (withdrawal of privileges).

The key is to be calm, don't engage them in arguments and do not explain yourself (they know the rules). Remember teenagers are expert at DARVO, even if they do not know the term.

In the situation you described with your son, if it was me, the car would have never left the driveway. You want to scream and be a little **** to your mother ... oh well, no ride to practice for you.
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post #22 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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So your husband is very laid back, so much so your son's mouth doesn't ring any bells. That's great actually. I think young men need their fathers esteem so very badly and it sounds like your husband provides that for your son. Unfortunately, this puts you in the role as disciplinarian and frankly, that's no fair for you.

And this is where I get so confused. I've gotten compliments on how self-confident, self-assured son is, how great we are as parents for letting him be his own person, etc. Sometimes I think maybe I should be more like husband and let things go? But it is starting to feel abusive to let him treat me like this. You're right- I have to do something. I have always been the disciplinarian but when they were younger, I mostly did this by setting a very consistent routine and this worked very well, as they were always well-rested and knew what was expected. Then son started to push back and now I'm really only concerned about the disrespect.

I recall a time when my brother was mouthing off to my mother and my father, who had been ignoring the entire escalation, got up and said very loudly "that is my wife and you are not allowed to speak to my wife that way, ever!" Honestly, it made no effect on my brother, who had an anger problem but I remember it clear as day.

My Dad said this too and it also struck me. I do wish my husband would make this clear to our son, but it's not him. He's much more patient and kind than my dad was so I think I picked a guy very opposite from him.

It doesn't matter if your husband doesn't care if your son mouths off to him. But you do care and it does bother you and for that reason alone your might want to enlist your husband's support in enforcing YOUR boundaries for you. If he's okay being spoken to that way, that's fine but he should not be okay with you being spoken to in a way that makes you feel belittled and disrespected. So tell your husband to stop being a baby and stick up for his wife!

I know, right? He tells me to "let it go." "It's all good." He looks physically pained if I say I need him to talk to our son. He will do it, but again, it's "you know you'll catch more flies with honey, right?" To our son. Or he says something so out of left field, like "Just put a smile on your face. If you can't do that, then we don't want to be around you." It's like WTF?
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post #23 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:35 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

My boys are 18, 14, 11, and 8.

While I would not tolerate disrespect, I would also seek to understand their frustrations. You are trying to build a relationship for the long term, right? Taking too rigid of an "I'm the parent and you will do as I say, period," position could make for some frosty times ahead.

Shoot for a collaborative approach instead. "Son, I do not feel great about how things went down yesterday. I don't think you do, either. How do you think we both could have handled things better?" might be a good place to start.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #24 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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My boys are 18, 14, 11, and 8.

While I would not tolerate disrespect, I would also seek to understand their frustrations. You are trying to build a relationship for the long term, right? Taking too rigid of an "I'm the parent and you will do as I say, period," position could make for some frosty times ahead.

Shoot for a collaborative approach instead. "Son, I do not feel great about how things went down yesterday. I don't think you do, either. How do you think we both could have handled things better?" might be a good place to start.
Wow! That's a lot of boys!

Anon Pink nailed it- his frustration was triggered by not leaving at the exact time he wanted. His anxiety reared, and I was the punching bag.

I just calmly talked to him while preparing his dinner. I told him that while I am fine with discussing concerns with him about possibly running late, that he doesn't know what treating me like a person means, and that he feels I make things a big deal, I am not ok with the delivery. From now on, if he raises his voice to me, the car will not leave the garage. And I will let his coach know why he will not be at practice. We covered what "treating me like a person" means (respect, politeness).

My husband actually totally jumped in and backed me up, so that was wonderful! I think setting the boundary and putting in my son's court really helped my husband see that it's now no longer up to me if he gets to practice- it's up to our son.

Thanks to all of you for the help! Every single one of you helped me today.
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post #25 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:54 PM
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How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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Ok, so you don't give rides either when they are disrespectful, good to know. I'm on it with the devices, but you're right- it's only temporary.



And I have the same issue with the husband- his "focus on the positive" bs really chaps my hide in these instances.


@crocus, you think I should ignore it when he acts like this? Ugh...I literally cannot stand it. It violates every boundary in my body to be treated so poorly by someone, especially as I am doing things for them. It just feels so wrong to me.


My 15 year old is my toughest right now and he has a very busy schedule with drama club rehearsals which is most important to him. The rides hit him where it hurts. He's had to walk a few times and was late.

I tried something new this week that's worked well so far:

I own a home business and sometimes need a little help from the older boys with it. This is vacation week for them and I asked for some help with cleaning my business space. They talked back, were rude. I said that's fine, but if I have to do it alone I can't take as many orders this week. If I taker fewer orders, I bring in less money and I won't be able to write that check you need for drama next week, or the housing deposit my other son needs sent. So no big deal if you don't want to help, but these are the logical consequences of not pitching in.

They actually did it with no more argument!

I love logical consequences ... don't give me notice when you need a ride and yell at me and expect me to drop everything? You can walk.

Don't like dinner? You can cook ... I taught them both how to cook a few simple meals they all like (Mac & cheese, spaghetti & meatballs, chicken broccoli & ziti).



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post #26 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:22 AM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

"Hey, please reply to me and treat me like a person!"

I've been thinking about your post and this keeps coming up in my head.

Teens are like 2 year olds on steroids. They act out their feeling. But now they are big, and loud and think they are smarter than their parents. This is why teens are so much "fun".

But the are still kids and still need some things to be very clear. I agree with him, what does "threat me like a person mean?" I'll bet it means something different to different people. You might want to try working that is very direct and simple....

Instead of "Please reply to me and treat me like a person", be more direct.

"Please reply."
"Do not yell at me."
"I'm not giving you a ride to practice if you yell at me." and follow through.

Short and to the point.
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post #27 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:19 AM
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Cool Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

Having raised two boys, suspending their allowances and privileges seemed to have worked absolute wonders in curbing their seldom abhorrent behavior!

They're coming in to their own during this phase and greatly feel that they are so much smarter than Mom or Dad, or any authority figure, for that matter!

And to a certain extent, there's probably an element of some of that self-ingrained justification in their line of thinking, but if they are going to give serious credence to any of those thoughts, it might be far better that they are already moved out of the house and at the very same time, also considerably more financially well-heeled than good ol' Mom and Dad!

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post #28 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:12 AM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

Just wondering, does your son do any volunteer work? Something for the community, the disabled, something that requires patience, empathy, and care for another? If not, it may be a good idea to have him start. I was once a pretty intense teen but I was a good egg. I challenged my parents plenty and I expected to be heard more as I got older and close to adulthood. I volunteered for many hours in HS at a hospital in my town. I volunteered at a nursing home, too. I think it gave me a perspective many of my peers at the time didn't care to have because they were too busy trying to be "cool."

Also, relaxation techniques are a good idea for teens. They learn to cram so much into their lives, their hormones are going, their brains are developing, they neglect to take time for calm introspection alone. It's always go go go and sleep when you're not.

Agreed that you should follow through if there is a next time and turn the car around. There's nothing wrong with telling him this clearly right now, before the next practice. Set the expectations, ask him if he thinks you're being reasonable in having the expectation of not being yelled at, then exact consequence if he crosses the line. Basically talk logically through to the source of the frustration and allow him to catch himself for his own unnecessary behavior. You are not a punching bag.

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post #29 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:45 AM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

Ok, I kind of skipped through the last half of the thread. I'm in a hurry, but wanted to throw in 2 cents.

The single best thing I ever did as a Dad, was make my kid go to one of his sporting events, and watch from the bench. He'd done something wrong, it was no big deal, but then he lied right to my face about it. It was February.

I looked at him and said after dinner we were going to have a chat about the consequences of his actions, after everyone calmed down.

So...

Video games - gone indefinitely. No end date, he could choose when he earned them back by being a reasonable human being.

But, the big kicker was, his next sporting event, he had to go up to his coach, tell him he was benched by dad, and why. He had to apologize to his teammates for being a bad teammate because he couldn't play, and if he lied to his teammates about why, he'd be sitting another one until he got it right.

It actually got even better because the referee knows him, and knows he's good player so came over to talk in-between periods asking him how he got injured and he had to say "not injured, grounded."

At that moment, he knew I wasn't f'n around, and I wouldn't be in the near future. Are there still challenges from time to time. Sure, but he KNOWS, that I'll follow through on ANYTHING, even if it hurts me more than him. The best part is, I was able to do it without raising my voice. Very matter of fact - this was your choice (to lie), and this is how it is.

So, if I were you, when you're having a good evening, sit down as a family and talk about how the new normal is going to be, and you'll do your best to be respectful to him and not raise your voice at him as well, and come up with some word that he can say that you're not allowed to be offended at if he feels like you're stressing him out and vice versa, and go from there.

edit: looks like you already had a chat. keep revisiting it, especially if he's going a good job with it and let him know you appreciate his efforts.
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post #30 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:07 AM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

Wow, congrats Jessica ! That's awesome.


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